DREW HENDRY MP: UK GOVERNMENT MUST NOT ABANDON HOUSEHOLDS ON COST OF LIVING CRISIS
This week Drew Hendry MP renewed calls on the UK Government to keep its promises to protect people from the worst of the Cost of Living Crisis.
The Highland MP has specifically urged the Chancellor to extend the £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme beyond its April end date, scrap the forthcoming energy bill price cap hike and increase much-needed support for households off the gas-grid.
It comes a week after Mr Hendry, the MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, launched a campaign aiming to ensure consumers are able to claim excessive credit balances back from their energy suppliers.
New research published by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) and YouGov4 estimates 1.7million adults in Scotland (78%) are having to turn their heating down – or off entirely – in the middle of winter in order to cut costs.
Commenting, Drew Hendry MP said:
“Many individuals and families in our community have struggled over the winter due to no fault of their own. The Tories have tanked the economy, allowed inflation to spiral out of control, and overseen a real-term wage fall across the board.
“Often, folk are falling into debt trying to cover the cost of their energy bills. The It’s Your Money campaign aims to solve a part of that by encouraging consumers to claim back high levels of credit in their accounts and making sure energy companies comply.
“But this is a problem largely of the UK Government’s making; they have a moral obligation to support hard-pushed households through this until such time as bills return to a normal level.
“Government support up until this point has been welcome, but they must go further and certainly shouldn’t go backwards. I’ve long campaigned for better-tailored support for both those homes off the gas-grid and those who share a meter with another property and will continue to do so.
“To withdraw energy bill support for households now would be unthinkable. The Tories have to U-turn on this, and I’m glad to see that support for such a move is gaining traction in other opposition parties.
“In addition to energy bill support, the UK government should follow Scotland’s lead and match progressive policies like the Scottish Child Payment to put money back in people’s pockets.
“Scotland is an energy-rich country, but many of its citizens are now fuel-poor. The Westminster government should never have put us in a position where families are paying through their teeth for everyday bills.